Pontifications: Lessor cites cool reception to MAX 10

By Scott Hamilton

April 17, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Buckingham Research Group last week issued back-to-back notes about Boeing. One was a recap of an investors call with Steve Rimmer, CEO of Altavair Airfinance (nee Guggenheim Aviation partners). The other was BRG’s earnings preview, the first off the mark for Boeing’s earnings call on April 26.

I’ll include a summary of BRG’s earnings preview in a subsequent post when other analysts issue their previews.

BRG’s Rimmer note is lengthy and covers industry issues beyond Boeing. Here are a couple of the Boeing-focused points:

Max 10 and 7M7

A cool reception among the lessor community for the B737 MAX 10. Boeing presented details of the B737 MAX 10 concept at the ISTAT conference on March 5-7th. The airplane was a topic of discussion among lessors and the consensus view was mixed, with many thinking that the airplane (as presented) was a compromise. BA has been losing market share at the upper end of the narrow body market (the A321neo vs. the B737 MAX 9) and the B737 MAX 10 is BA’s attempt to improve its narrow body product offering and stop the market share loss to Airbus. The view of lessors, which reflects the view of airlines, was that it likely won’t stop market share loss as the airplane doesn’t deliver compelling economics vs. A321neo.

“After listening to Mr. Rimmer’s comments, we’re a bit more optimistic that BA will launch the new B797 or New Midsize Airplane (NMA). Last year, our analysis identified two potential issues with BA’s Middle of the Market (MOM) or New Midsize Airplane (NMA) concept: 1) the potential that the market size is insufficient to justify launching a new $12B airplane program, and; 2) the likelihood BA would need to charge widebody prices for the airplane to customers who were willing to pay narrow body prices. We were skeptical that BA would launch the program. Rimmer notes that the 797 concept being proposed is a twin-aisle with new engines, approximately the size of a 767-200, with a composite fuselage and wing. What’s important is that BA is marketing the concept in both passenger and freight versions. By targeting both passenger and freight markets, we now think the market size may be sufficient to justify BA launching the airplane. We think BA could launch the plane at the Farnborough Airshow next year.

“The Airbus response to the B797 – Mr. Rimmer notes that he hasn’t seen any real evidence that Airbus will respond to a 797 with a stretched A321neo or a new airplane. Mr. Rimmer believes that a stretched A321neo cannot deliver the capabilities that a 797 could offer. Mr. Rimmer also believes that Airbus might find it difficult to launch an all new airplane of their own but that one way Airbus could respond would be to try to undermine launch of 797 and shrink the market. Airbus could offer significantly discounted A330-200s.”

Boeing and Airbus on MOM

Ken Herbert of Canaccord Genuity separately had this to say about the 7M7:

“We expect the MOM debate to dominate much of the 2017 narrative. We understand Airbus has made advances with its potential A322, but it is early in the process, and we do not necessarily see a launch this year. However, this would represent incremental pressure on Boeing, which wants to wait as long as possible on its MOM offering and is working to extend 757 fleets as long as possible.”

More GTF problems

Pratt & Whitney continues to work out problems with its A320neo GTF. Airways magazine first reported that Ultra Low Cost Carrier Spirit Airlines has three A320neos parked at, of all places, Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport. The aircraft’s engines, windows and wheels are covered as if for long-term storage.

Flight Global has this report detailing what’s wrong.

PW previously announced it will produce 350-400 engines this year, with about 50 of them dedicated as replacements for early GTFs.

With Bombardier forecasting delivery of 30-35 CSeries this year, this means Airbus should deliver between 120-140 GTF-powered neos.

Engines Airplanes
Production 350-400 175-200
Spares 50 25
CSeries 60-70 30-35
A320neo 240-280 120-140


Airbus should deliver at least an equal number, if not more, of the A320neo powered by the CFM LEAP-1A. CFM has about a 55% market share of neo sales.

Together, these should represent less than half the A320 family deliveries this year.

73 Comments on “Pontifications: Lessor cites cool reception to MAX 10

  1. it is a shame (but not really a surprise) to see PW stumble so badly on intro into service. not surprising that the stumbles have nothing to do with the G part of the GTF as they beat that to death for 15 years to make sure it was right.

    I hope they do get their issues worked out as it would be good for the market to have 3 viable commercial turbine engine companies vying for each new aircraft as it will drive technology forward and prices down.

  2. If the 737-10 proves as popular as the 737-9, I can see Boeing going for a smaller MoM, more 757 than 767 sized.

    Airbus is probably looking for a longer term 322 – 350-900 inbetween, replacing A300, A310, A330 in its medium range roles.

    • I can’t agree with that.

      The interest for the MOM is in a low cost lower range 767 (current not original) replacing and that is also a freighter size that continues to garner orders and or conversion in the case of UPS because they can’t get new 767s.

      The big question is can they offer the economics of a 757/A321 cost wise and still make the aircraft at the price point that seems to be so critical.

      An A330-200 even discounted does not cut it IMNSHO

      • If the A330-200 were a partial MOM, Airbus would have lined up orders and introduced it. If the 787-300 were a partial MOM, Boeing would have lined up orders and introduced it. The A321 is a partial MOM, and Airbus lined up orders and is introducing it.

        The A321 (and A330-200, 787-300) stands to be rendered uneconomical by a true MOM airplane. If a company wants to occupy that market before an optimized aircraft is introduced, they would be showing us now.

        I view MOM as the new NSA wing, introduced early to allow for a seamless transition to NSA. The NSA is too important to mess up even one detail.

        The rumors I’ve read is that Boeing lowered the floor (and maybe thinned out the walls) on the KC-46 because the original fuel tank didn’t fit in the 767 tube, but also the former 767 floor was too high for maximum passenger comfort. That tube now has modern engineering plans, a more modern structure, and updated avionics. Boeing also needs to keep the 767 line open to sell the USAF every last tanker the USAF requires for the next 50 years.

        The 757 tooling is gone and it doesn’t make any sense to take up space on the 737 line to make a 757-sized a/c (like they did last time).

        Everyone knows that the MAX is a stopgap to NSA. MOM is phase 1 NSA. MOM only has to be a good enough airplane to make NSA successful and to keep the KC-46/767 line open.

        • Thats a strange comment about the KC-46.
          Its the same plane structurally as the 767-300F, except its a bit shorter fuselage barrel.
          All the fuel tanks are in what would be the cargo hold. They arent removable in the quick change sense.
          Same really as KC135 which had all tanks below floor , except one in cabin ahead of rear bulkhead

      • I agree with Keesje.

        “1) the potential that the market size is insufficient to justify launching a new $12B airplane program”

        $12B for a plane that is really a niche plane – the 767. The trick here imo is to make a plane that can swallow up 737/A320 orders whilst also covering the 757. It’s money. Yeah, there would potentially be still a gap, but there’s no way an air framer is going to build for a niche when they could potentially swallow up a large portion of their competitors narrowbodys. No chance imo, but time will tell. I wouldn’t be surpried if we don’t hear formal plans by either manufacturer to build a plane encompassing NMA for another decade.

        In short, I’m saying that whether or not there is is this suppoed NMA segment, in real fiscal monetary terms there is not. The next batch of narrowbody’s will be sligtly longer that today with significantly bigger wings and engines and will encompass the MOM segment. That’s my take

        • Agree, and what if the initial and only version isn´t a great sucess? like 787-8, 777-200, 767-200, 737-100. It could easily be too much plane with now where to go size wise, as a stretch will just make it too big for its intended market.

          • Anther reason why I think it should be a narrowbody. It can’t really be too much plane. I’m thinking of a 757-X

            i.e. 757 : 757-X :: 777 : 777-X

            I see the smallest model of this new 757 plane as being the key target:
            757-200 -> 757-2X as it could eat into A321/2 NEO orders.

            Conversely if Airbus offer somehing say an

            A325, that could eat into 737 MAX orders.

            Certainly, I see this plane having composite parts mainly, but otherwise not radically different from an A322 in the case of Airbus
            or a Boeing 757.

    • MOM/NSA/NMA should, IMHO, be based on a fuselage about 4.35 m in OD. This allows 2-2-2 seating or WIDE seat and aisle 3-3 seating. Different tube lengths cover A-320 to DC-8-61 capacity. Two wings, one for smaller/shorter range, one for larger/longer range. Replaces 757/767 initially and then 737.

      Floor placed to accommodate A-320 cargo containers which makes it fairly low maximizing the functional width for the pax.

      A 2-3-2 or 2-4-2 MOM will likely never recover its costs.

      • Under my view, MOM is a 767 derivative with version 1.0 NSA wings. It would not be a $12B program, more like a $3-4B investment to increase the health of the 767 line that will be expected to recoup the $1B cost overruns to the KC-46. But that $1B has already been spent, so Boeing needs only $2-3B more for MOM.

        Only a 767 derivative is able to be offered at a low enough cost to become a narrow body replacement.

        MOM puts an upward bound constraining Airbus’ next single aisle move (assuming that they continue to not directly compete in the same identical size) and provides a low risk method of solving problems manufacturing a large number of carbon fiber wings. MOM also becomes a placeholder for the smaller widebody offering, should they become more popular. Any new airbus entrant would need to compete MOM on its lowish cost.

          • It needs a new carbon wing, carbon wingbox, new Engines, new pylon and nacelle, fly by wire, new APU, new databus with 787 ARINC, carbon brakes, new boxes from the 787 including windshield wiper motors etc. New Air cycle machine, new Main landing gears and maybe a new nose landing gear taking the cycling, in addition the fuselage swith to Al-Li for reduced mass. It will be as revised as the new CH-53K vs the old CH-53E. The main advantage with this major surgery is that the FAA will allow it to be a derivative of the old 767 and it will speed up certification.

          • If Airbus are smart they will bring out a genuine 757 replacement with 737-10/A321 economics in reponse. That would be the end of the 737 max across a large set of markets. It might even win over a 767 MAX for higher pax.

          • So the 767 or 737 could be completely switched to fly by wire and the FAA would certify it as a derivative? I doubt that, but I could be wrong.

            If so, potentially after the MAX, there will be a 737 with a new CFRP wing and all fly by wire, built from 2030 to 2050.

  3. @ Keesje

    Interesting points but surely Airbus’s key worry is the attractiveness of the B789. The A322 will have the effect of crimping the bottom end of the NMA depending n how much they are willing to invest and change the base A321 upon which it is based. They could do the same with the A332 at the top end, invest in spoiling the NMA from the top. The slight trouble is that they could end up with compromised but ‘cheap’ alternative in both situations a bit like the A339. Being second best in too many niches will place Airbus in the same position as Boeing now, competing on price to. Compensate for a weaker product.

  4. The PW issues are interesting in that they are really nit noid items that have not proven out but worked in the test program.

    The critical heart and soul gear box of the GTF has had no issues.

    Aero Turbo Power reports CFM is having issues but are being more successful covering them up.

  5. Does anybody have the answer to this? My understanding is that PW are having problems with seals. If it’s the seals that regulate the oil to the gearbox, then the gearbox is having problems

    The issue with a GTF is the heat generated by the gears. This heat must be taken away – by oil – otherwise the gears will eventually fail.

    • If you read the linked article about the Dallas aircraft, the problem is an air seal on the third turbine bearing. It’s not an oil seal and it’s on the other end of the engine compared to where the gearbox is located. Flight Global also reported the C Series Pratt engine had an oil seal problem in the low pressure turbine.

      My understanding is that the gearbox has its own separate oil system. I am not aware of any issue with any part of the gearbox.

    • PWA has its normal reability problems at service entry. It will take a few hundread SB’s and it will become what they promised from the beginning. Just that the LEAP engine looks more tested and proven for now.

  6. On the MAX 10, moving the wheels 30″ back from the center of gravity, how much does that affect pitch control? Needs more tailplane force to rotate on take off, and creates a more sudden forward rotation when the wheels hit on landing.

    • A longer fuselage allows more rotation force from the same tailplane area.

      • A longer fuselage is a longer moment arm between the tailplane and the pivot point, be that the center of lift on the wings, or the center of the main gear. I agree with that.

        I was wondering how far spread apart the center of the main gear can be from the center of lift before it poses a problem? And on the main landing gear, the MAX 10 will be 66″ of fuselage more front heavy than the MAX 9, will that pose a problem?

        • The 66 in stretch, which sounds like 3 x fuselage frames, but Boeing hasnt which of those 3 is forward of the wing and how much rear.
          The whole concept was to make as much stretch without having to change too much. The undercarriage change was likely unavoidable, so it could be issues around what you mention are fine?
          The original stretch last year was touted as 6 frames- but likely came with many more changes

  7. The issue is that if Boeing goes for a 737-9/-10 that doesn’t cut it, combined with a 767 sized MoM,there won’t be something like a status quo in the larger NB segment.

    Maybe Boeing needs a wake up call? E.g. United calling it a day and ordering 75+75 A321s.

    • How do you expect Boeing to modify a twin aisle into a 757 shaped aircraft?

      The 737 10 is not expected to be a barn burner in the sales department. If Boeing can grab sales from the Indian sector and more in Europe, it’ll be an even wash. Africa could see some sales. Consider it as the appetizer before the full course meal, that being the 7X7 MOM.

    • I think Boeing got the wake up call.

      Like Trump, they didn’t want to believe the facts, it interferes with their rosy little world, so they spun Balloney (US slab meat, cheap, little flavor) .

      I think they get it but still don’t want to admit it publically. Someone might expect them to stop stock buy backs for instance (gasp)

      Having got themselves in a bind, what is the way out?

      Present a different product that Airbus can’t match is one way.

      That may offer a spin down affect to do the 737RS.

      Old commercial about “From the Minds of Minolta”, who really knows what’s in the mind of Boeing?

  8. I don’t understand the claim that Airbus would have difficulty launching a new programme. Current developments at Airbus will come to an end by the middle of next year, so engineering talent will start freeing up soon.

    I think Airbus must capitalise on their investment in CFRP. The A350 hasn’t caused Airbus the same difficulty as the 787 caused Boeing. Airbus could do a new narrow body, or mid size body or stretch the A350 again. Resting on their laurels will give others the initiative. It will be interesting what Airbus does nsxt, but nothing is not an option

    • I don’t know, that Airbus can’t Boeing has done nothing for some time and got away with it (sort of)

      Airbus is still ramping up the A350, has the NEO and the lingering A400 to deal with.

      I would like to repeat, the 787 had nothing to do with composites and very little to do with the tech. It all had to do with management scattering it all over the globe and not managing the suppliers. They thought there was a free lunch and there was not.

      Also keep in mind Airbus composite is not necessarily the composite method of the next generation as it was done on the fly. Its worked beyond what I ever thought it would, but its not for sure the way to optimize the use of that material.

      Next gen from Beo0inga and then Airbus will tell a story. Is there two equally good choices of composite build method or one in the long run?

      Twill be interesting to see.

      • @TW

        You continue to perpetuate the ‘done on the fly’ myth of the A350. That Airbus was in some way behind the composite curve. Airbus (I seem to remember) was the first to introduce composites and has had a consistent approach to development of CFRP from the A300 onward, incrementally using more and more as each programme has evolved. The A380 was probably the most significant advance of all aircraft in this respect with the wingbox becoming composite.

        To me the barrel concept is not something that will be followed in future, whether the panel approach is followed is also a moot point. It is possible that for most aircraft neither approach will be ignored and the fuselage remains aluminium or Al Li. If CFRP is used it will evolve to something more consistent with the qualities of the material in terms of manufacture and design.

        • Didnt the panel approach allow Airbus to tailor the strength of the CFRP upper and lower lobe sections for the different loads ? With the barrels the entire fuselage has sized for the loads taken by the lower section.

          • regarding your statement on barrels, no. not even a little bit.
            the final product is not one uniform toilet paper tube. there are _some_ tapes that are uniformly spun onto the mandrel roughly like the belt on a tire, then there are some that are laid lengthwise (and diagonally) that are highly tailored to the loads in the region they are laid.
            I think some people have the idea that they just spin the mandrel next to a spool of tape one time an they are done.
            _every_ _single_ strand is planned and placed for optimum performance for the specific loads in a particular area of the fuselage.

          • This video from Boeing showing the tapes being wound around uniformly on a 787 fuselage barrel says differently.
            maybe a small amount are done diagonally but that still suggests the complete barrel

            And this description of the ‘4 panel’ approach of Airbus from Plastics.gl
            “The four-panel concept is also said to provide considerable weight savings, as the use of longer panels requires fewer circumferential joints – which are quite heavy – and relies more on lighter longitudinal joints. This weight saving also results from better optimisation of each panel for its application.”

            As well this story in ‘Composite World’ from 2014 indicates Boeing made some mistakes in its material choices on the 787
            “Byrne [ VP aircraft materials and structures at BCA] went as far as to state that if Boeing knew then what it knows now, “material decisions might have been very different on the 787.”
            They wish the CF supply chain was more like the metal industry! Apparently the polyacrylonitrile precursor is propriety to each manufacturer, so dual sourcing is out of the question. This would affect Airbus too.

          • Being involved with filliment winding, I used to think that, but now I have come to realise that it’s a rotary placement machine. One of the benefits is that the process is continuous rather than a machine stopping and going backwards and forwards.

          • The barrel can not be made from radial fibers only. These will take care of the hull pressure only. All longitudinal forces must be caught by longitudinal fibers. In addition they need some 45° fibers to take care of torsion, which 0° and 90° does not take.
            Winding the radial (90°) fibers is the easy part, which is why they show it in the video. The 45° and 0° are the much more tricky ones and I’m sure Boeing wants to keep the way they are running those as good a secret as possible.

          • Sowerbob – Dukefurl:

            While Airbus was leading in non pressurized parts, they were no where near ready to do an all composite fuselage and wing.

            Boeing was ready and their methods worked and worked well. None of those have been an issue.

            Airbus took what they had and made the best of it and it turned out to work and from what I can gather, as well as Boeing. Some apples and oranges as they don’t make identical sized aircraft to compare.

            What I do remember about the panels was Leahy ranting on about how replaceable they were vs Boeing having to do an entire sections.

            That was some of the worst baloney that Leahy ever put out.

            Boeing did exactly what they said they would on hull damage that was far more massive damage than ever expe3cted on the Ethiopian hull and that was to build a patch .

            Airbus will not remove a whole panel to fix a hole either.

            And both are optimized for their structural needs.

            Airbus method would seem to take more labor and Boeings less, but more and some very expensive machines.

            IF Boeing does the MOM we will get a clue as to where they think the design approach goes.

            If Airbus comes out with a new model of something, we will see where they think it is.

            The could both agree with Boeing

            They could both agree with Airbus

            They both could disagree with each other.

          • Gundolf you dont seem to have seen a picture of the inside of a 787 fuselage barrel to say this
            ‘ All longitudinal forces must be caught by longitudinal fibers.’

            The images show that the skin is supported by longitudinal stringers and radial frames, all of composite of course.
            Do you have any pictures of the barrel tape laying machines working horizontally ?
            Maybe thats another advantage of fuselage built from panels, you can lay plies of fibre as mats in different directions to make the panels ? That opens the possibility of making panels with co cured stringers

            Much more interesting is the use of carbon fibre waste which can be recycled into plane interior fittings such as interior cabin walls and such, instead of the usual fibre glass.
            Its crushed and then the resin is pyroletically removed

        • I suppose that it was”on the fly” for Airbus in the sense that they didn’t feel that it was quite mature enough for the fuselage,but otherwise they were fully up with the game and intending to make all future wings from the black stuff.
          From what I see at exhibitions, it seems to me that people are are looking at a Barnes Wallace Wellington bomber type of construction for the fuselage. My brain isn’t huge enough to completely get my head around this.
          Personally, I am convinced that fairly shortly, carbon will be no more expensive to produce or probably cheaper.

          • With the barrels, Boeing has tried to develop a design that gets the best out of CFRPs, but this system is expensive in production and not superior to the panel-design of Airbus.
            The panel design is a straightforeward evolution of the typical aluminum design that was invented back in the early 1930s, when aluminum became the material of choice.
            I must admit that I have been racking my brain to find a solution that emplays the full advantage that CFRP should have over aluminum, which would be a weight reduction of at least 50%, and I’m sure that a lot of engineers around the globe are doing just that.

          • Heres the answer Gundolf for a barrel shape made from panels with co cured stringers, or flutes as they are called in this application

            Its like two thin skins with a form of corrugated shape holding them together, all in composite. Replaces honeycomb type structure
            Another project along the lines you are thinking is Nasa’s Carbon Comet X55 fuselage shell and empennage on a Dornier 328 jet wings and cockpit

          • @dukeofurl: Thanks for the links. I really enjoy seeing how other engineers wrap their heads around the difficulties to work with “fiber” materials, when most of your life and education they have worked wth isotropic metals.
            I went through that learning curve too and I can tell you that especially for large planes none of the solutions that have been found until now are making the best use of the fantastic potantial of carbon fibers.
            I do have some wild ideas about how the next generation CFRP-airliner could be constructed and can hardly expect it to see what design will be chosen.

      • Transworld keeps saying ‘I would like to repeat, the 787 [issues]had nothing to do with composites and very little to do with the tech.’

        You also said ( previously) the wing testing only failed at the wing fuselage joint when the composites de-laminated at the wing ends as well.

        There was a significant amount of change engineering work done because of poor oversight of design.( the document management was badly done as well- thats a design issue too)
        This sort of thing led to weight growth.
        The poor design led to the 788 being a prototype for the proper 789. No need to detail those here but it includes wing internals and famously the front fuselage window area.
        there are others:
        “Airbus cites two “Boeing Proprietary” presentation slides titled “787-9 Configuration Features” that claim that a revised aft-body join, new floor beams, seat tracks, composite wing ribs and structural fuel vent stringers, as well as a “revised structural architecture” -Flightglobal

        Scott summarised some the changes back in May 2016
        ‘Boeing essentially is building two different airplanes. The -9/10 are about 90% common, but—depending on who’s doing the talking—the -8 may only be about 40% common to the -9.”

        Doesnt sound to me they got all the tech right on the 788?

        A whole new plane is never easy ( or engine either) and its not a knocking Boeing issue. Rather I would wish some fanboys wouldnt gloss over a lot of the major technical issues and just blame management stuff ups

        • So you are saying Transworld is a fanboy? I would not agree with that at all.

          • Thank you.

            At one time I was an unrepentant enthusiast, but I am also a technician , and when the facts beat you to death it hammers down your emotional reactions and I have reverted to technician mode.

            Boeing was not only an American icon, it was a world one and it was central to my early growing up.

            So while I still harbor an emotional attachment to what Boeing was, I have become realistic to what they are.

            I think the 787 was a brilliant technical accomplishment despite managements best efforts to do it in.

            I think the A350 is a brilliant technical l achievement because of both the workers and management striving for the same goal.

            I would rather work for Airbus that Boeing.

      • @TransWorld,
        here is what John Byrne, VP aircraft materials and structures at Boeing Commercial Airplanes has said about Boeings ability to design a propercarbon plane:
        “Composites in general are poorly understood by Boeing designers and engineers and therefore are not employed optimally”
        That is exactly what I also think, having a bit of experience in working with CFRPs for more than 20 years now.

        • I think there is some sharp contrast to be drawn here (and Gundolf thank you for that link, good one)

          The weight increase issues were due to the fact that the aircraft parts were scattered all over the globe and there was no monitoring in place or oversight.

          There are two aspects in that, scattered and no oversight and both were management decisions.

          My take from the reports at the time was it was the wild wild west. Contracts were based on you making your part, not the project as a whole.

          Fasteners were being hoarded so ensure that those who could get them had all they needed. They were in critical shortage in others who did not get them.

          While it was hidden in the wreck of the program, fasteners shortages were a huge issue if you read the reports (as well as other confirmation)

          One Chinese firm that got a contract in turn sub contracted to a US firm to do the work as they could not.

          One supplier contact Boeing on the fact that they had been contacted by a supplier to provide parts that they had bid on and had lost to the other party.

          The other party having got the contract was stuck as they did not know how to make that part, so they sub contracted it.

          There were far more. Chance Vought fouled up so badly not even Boeing could get them corrected and bought them out (ergo Charleston)

          That alone has added 2 to 4 billion to the project as well as the duplicated assembly in Charleston (excess production facilities). Also management decisions.

          Wing joint was designed right the first time and in the panic was cut back and failed. Management decision.

          The tech worked, it was badly done and sloppily hashed together. I contend it would have worked out well if they had done it all in Everett (even with outside suppliers) where they had full control and oversight.

          To me its amazing how well it worked, not that there were any issues at all.

          In all that there was one real failure (wing joint) and that root cause may be debatable, when managers get angry employees tend to not tell them the truth.

          the -8s are flying with no issues. They are not optimal and Boeing seems to have said, there is no future there and we are not going to back fit to that aircraft.

          They also sold them very cheap and that weighs in.

          As for Byrne, it seems a bit late, and more a we Locked ourselves in a box issue.

          That is also a management philosophy where we partner with people. Unfortunately when you partner with a sole supplier you are also stuck with that (or you buy it out like Chance Vought so you can control it)

          Funny to be complaining about a new industry when you were the ones that went with the tech.

          Having seen a move to lets automate and get rid of workers I can see the appeal of the spun fuselage.

          You do have to at least question if that was not a management driven approach as well then.

          For an awfully managed (or worse) program the product has worked incredibly well.

          C Series seems to have done a fantastic wing.

          Maybe composites are not the right fuselage choice, that gets into a cost benefit that I make zero claims to have a clue on.

          Wings seem to pay major benefits form optimization.

          Maybe overall its still heavier than it should be, but that’s part of the learning curve and you don’t want to have a Tacoma Narrows Bridge on your hands.

          They do seem to have understood it all well enough to get a good aircraft out of it.

          • Thank you for the link, I had missed that.

            I will have to look it over as casual look seems to indicated that all the correction was at the join and did that cause the rest of it?

            The question is how much of this would have taken place if it had been made in Everett or the surrounding area?

            And yes the fasteners were a huge issue and that is from reliable sources. I won’t say from where but it was confirmed that the published sources were correct.

            And you ignore what Boeing did to correct all these problems.

            They forme3d teams, 20 as I recall. Each was a multi discipline team of engineers, logistical experts, financial experts, management experts.

            That was because a great many if not all the sub contractors had all of those issues.

            So, the avalanche began and Boeing starting thowing a team at it here and there to stop it.

            What they found out was that was not working they then build snow fences.

            If it had been in Everett none of those teams would have been needed, all of those discipline were there and available.

            Of all the issues ever idneitied, few of any were direlcy due to poor engineering.

            The battery system was outsourced to 4 diffente entitiries.

            Thales supposedly managed it, Yuassa , not (Saft, the world best battery maker,) built the batteries. Secure Aviation build the charger (never having built a charge before let alone anything remotely like a critical internal aircraft system i.e cameras, installed on small business jets and a burned down building during ht test process) and a hither to unknown Japanese mfg who made the battery monitoring system. and control system

            What could possibly go wrong?

            ALL non Boeing desing.

            They latter found the Yusasa battery plant was filthy when those type of batteries required an almost clean room environment to be assembled.

            They were passing 95% of their batteries when in fact, an industry that made those was lucky to get 60% in the right conditions.

            They tested failure by driving a nail into it.

            All because this system was outsourced and no one had a clue how fouled up it was.

            Management made all those decisions including scattered outsourced parts and they provided no controls of any kind initially.

            The old Russian Proverb about Trust but Verify comes to mind.

  9. I wonder what percentage of the total aircraft market will be 180-230 seats for the next 20 years. More than 50%? Far to much to surrender for Boeing it seems.

    • The vast majority I suspect. No way is Boeing just going to rely on the Max 10 as anything other than an emergency stop gap.I expect to see action on this front within 2 years.
      Is the A322 going to be enough? This is the first time I have heard it mentioned as intelligence. I suspect that there is a right old game of deception and misinformation going on.
      Intelligence gathering must be a very interesting field in the aviation industry. I would love to know how P&W, for example, try to keep GE and Rolls away from their product once it’s in service.And how do GE and Rolls go about getting their guys in to have a look. Understanding the problems that they are going through must be extremely useful information.

      • @Grubie

        Why stop with just an A322, if developing an all new wing is how Airbus will proceed.

        IMJ, Airbus should optimise an A321-derived aircraft around a stretched, 50m long A323. An A322 would equal the A321 in fuselage length. Due to the new wing, range would be increased by more than 1000 nm. The A324 would roughly equal the 757-300 in size.

        You’d have 3 family members:

        1.) ~45 metre long A322. Range 5000-plus nm.
        2.) ~50 metre long A323. Range 4500 nm
        3.) ~55 metre long A324. Range 4000 nm.

        • Pretty much agree but if Airbis need a new wing (maybe they can enlarge the current one) then I wouldnt be surprised if they went with a clean sheet design, only 50% more expencive and there are probably a lot of other things they can do with it, ie LiAl, midship toilets and boarding and I dont know what. Airbus dont get the weight advantage grandfathering the A320 like Boeing do with the B737.

          • “Airbus dont get the weight advantage grandfathering the A320 like Boeing do with the B737.” ?

            The B737 only got its ‘weight advantage’ over the A320 because it built a completely new lighter wing aerofoil shape for the next generation model for the mid 90s.
            Airbus could do the same process and likely have less weight than the 737 again.

            Thats Boeings strength , new wings. Its done the same for the 737, 747 and is doing the same for the 777.
            Could the 767 be next ?
            They are the Toyota of the air. same old same old , just improved in parts

          • I agree with the new plane idea, especially as the use of CFRP makes a lot of sense when it comes to a long and thin body, as the longitudinal loads increase significantly and longitudinal fibers can take that stress much better than aluminum.

          • Grubbie: Reverse engineering is a hard thing to do, you have to duplicate not only materials but exact processes..

            P&W is not going to use the same gear type for larger as they did the PW1000 series.

            Concept scales up but the gear type apparently does not.

            GTF is not new, the application is in large engines.

            Where P&W has the advantage is knowing how the flows work and where they can be improved and optimized.

            P&W no more can keep them from coming up with their own designs than they can stop the sun rising.

            That’s true of any tech.

            If they do their work right they can stay ahead of both GE and RR on the learning curve.

            Ergo, its an advantage for a partnership and GE and PW now would seem to be the logical one.

            It does not mean it will happen but they do have an active working relationship and they put out a better than RR engine despite the inferior 2 shaft design (grin)

          • Transworld, I wasn’t really thinking about reverse engineering, more avoiding your competitors mistakes and benchmarking.
            A few years ago Airbus were caught out when an internal intelligence report was published which contained information which could have only come from within Boeing.
            Obviously there is quite a bit going on but I’m not surprised that I haven’t persuaded anyone to talk about it!

          • Happy to talk about it.

            The French are notorious in the intelligence circles next to the Chinese for stealing trade tech.

            That’s gone on since time immemorial.

            I think the US Government should help all private firms deal with it, particularly on the cyber end.

            Unless you know the exact design, you can’t avoid the mistakes until you make them yourself.

            On the A350 we see that they still have problems despite seeing the pattern of Boeings problems.

            It looks like different ones but with Zodiak more or less cleared there were other problems behind the smoke screen they provided.

        • Seems like the most logical next move. Boeing has to design around and differentiate their product from that.

  10. Boeing can jump into the 767 sized MoM opportunity, but simply can’t ignore the 200 seat segment meanwhile.

    They could do quicker, lower risk 737 upgrade turning it into a MoM, but it would remain stuck with e.g. the dated cargo capability and cabin noise / space. Even a new cockpit would probably be 2 billion investment. It would open up to 787 commonality though.


    • Well it seems like Boeing is right now so we and they are stuck with that.

      • is Boeing stuck in the same position Douglas was at the start of the jet age.
        Steve Jobs once said ‘if you dont cannabilise your own products, someone else will’

        • Good question and time will tell.

          They clearly have no product strategy overall other than knee jerk.

          The 737 is the obvious one and should have been replaced two generations ago.

          Interesting though do you strike for something that you probably still wind up with a 50/50 market split on or one that you have 100% of the market and deal with your self inflicted wound the next cycle?

          But what you should have is, this aircraft is in cycle X, and needs to be replaced in 20 years (787?) and we being to plan for that now.

          • We seem to be at the end of the design cycle. Any improvement on a twin engine wing, cylindrical fuselage and empennage is going to increasingly difficult to find and at a prohibitive cost. So within the limitations above what improvements can we expect?

            1% every 2 years on engines
            Cabin optimisation gaining 2%-8% depending on current layout and the degree of aggressiveness airlines are willing to accept
            Weight reduction with new materials (CFRP, AlLi etc)
            Ever higher aspect wings 10++

            The industry is ripe for true disruption in terms of engines or aircraft structures and aerodynamics. It could only come from the big boys given the need to negotiate these changes with all stakeholders

  11. If this issue has been mentioned before, my apologies.

    Obviously the 788 had an attraction to airlines, just that Boeing fell out of love with it.
    Has a shrink of the 789 been postulated as a replacement?

    • Andrew:

      Now that is a heck of a good question.

      What I can’t say is if the -8 market is satisfied and a change to the -9 would not get Boeing anything for the investment or not.

      But you are right, a shrink at this point would be the way to do the -8B if there is a market there.

  12. I see A322, A323 and A324 mentioned hereabove, offered as a new MOM-type applications family concept based on the A32X family fuselage variously stretched beyond A321 and fitted with a (set of) new wing(s) … but there is a convergence of opinions that around 35 rows sets a limit to the 3+3 logic, beyond you start getting the 757-syndrome ( = ground turning inefficiency as well as poor in-flight serviceability) … beyond this limit we prefer a twin-aisled cabin : it offers better service ergonomics and APEX signature. Follow my eyes … let’s have the cake and eat it !?

    • A ~55 metre long A324 could have a single aisle configuration of 6 abreast ahead of doors 2L/2R, and a twin aisle configuration of 5 abreast (1-3-1) aft of doors 2L/2R. Boarding through door 2L with only one aerobridge, should still be quite efficient for a cabin configuration like that.

  13. “Rimmer notes that the 797 concept being proposed is a twin-aisle with new engines, approximately the size of a 767-200, with a composite fuselage and wing.”

    Interesting that the proposal is a composite fuselage. The cost/benefit of composite must be good, in spite of the investment in the CSeries, A330neo, and 777-9 with a conventional fuselage, and the lower price of oil for the foreseeable future.

    • Ted, once you got the knack of it in design and production, CFRP are superbe materials that offer great advantages over aluminum alloys. Besides being lighter and stronger the lifespan/durability is also much better. That is why I expect that all future new airliners will be made in CFRP in the future, especially when you don’t have to use existing production plants. The main reason the 777X has an aluminum body is to save development cost and time. (I do think though that that was a big mistake, as the weight penalty compared to the A350 will be a major drawback in the long run.)
      The C-series is a similar in-between product and the A330neo is simply a quick and cheap upgrade of engines.

      • I dont agree with you on that all future airliners will be made CRP.
        Example, the new 777X carbon wing is heavier than the existing wing. This wing uses as much CRP material as an entire 787. Its a marvel of aerodynamic design.
        So much of the CRP process is proprietry that manufacturers cant usually dual source material/process and their costs are higher as a result. This might take a long time to resolve as the Al material process has evolved over a very long time.
        Competition is a great thing and its stimulated the AL industry to improve its alloys and costs.
        Panels, in my opinion the way to go, and GLARE could still have a role for fuselages, carbon being a clear winner for wings and empennage

      • “once you got the knack of it in design and production, CFRP are superbe materials that offer great advantages over aluminum alloys”

        I think that’s exactly the point. Manufacturers aren’t there yet and there’s no real pressure for them to change that quickly. CFRP in commercial aviation was a result of an oil price shock/fear that simply doesn’t exist anymore. The US have become an oil exporting country and Saudi Arabia losing the oil war indicates, that there is no reason for an oil price anywhere near the $100/barrel mark in the next decade, maybe even decades.

        There’s another technology with more potential for airplane manufacturers, which is 3D metal printing in combination with bionic design. The weight reductions achieved on parts of current planes are very promising. Also, this technology can be applied on both current and future designs. I see more potential there.

    • If the C Series has a conventional fuselage it doesn’t use conventional aluminium. It uses aluminium-lithium, which saves almost as much weight on a small aircraft like the C Series as composite would have achieved.

      Besides, the fuselage of the C Series uses aluminium-lithium only on the constant cross section portion and cockpit. The rear fuselage, including the pressure bulkhead, is made of composite, and so is the entire empennage.

      One advantage of using aluminium-lithium on the fuselage of the C Series is that it is a short-cycle aircraft that can conduct as many as eight flights per day. This increases the probability of an impact on the fuselage during a turn-around, and a conventional fuselage is easier and less costly to repair. It is also easier to monitor the evolution of the repair and the general condition of the fuselage.

      That is the reason why I do not believe it would be advisable for any aircraft manufacturer to design a composite fuselage for any single-aisle aircraft, be it Boeing, Airbus or Bombardier.

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